M A I N   N E W S

No fresh riders on nuke deal, says Boucher
Sridhar Krishnaswami

Washington, May 26
Dismissing suggestions that the Indo-US civilian nuclear accord was in serious trouble, the Bush administration said today that though it was ready to show some flexibility to accommodate the views of Congress members, it was not prepared to impose conditions or introduce legislations at this point that can “break” the deal.

“We have a very active discussion with members of Congress. There is always a variety of views and sometimes you can get lost in that. I think there are a lot of supporters who have stood up in favour of this. There are people who have praised or criticised different aspects of the agreement and we have to deal with that”, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher said in an interview to the PTI at the State Department.

“There are a number of people who have raised issues, actually it is Congressional prerogative for Congress to vote on the bilateral agreement, something that Congressman (Tom) Lantos has raised and that is not an India issue. It is an issue for us and Congress”, Mr Boucher said.

“I think we are flexible in some terms, in terms of accommodating some of the desires of Congress and have us work with them. We certainly accept the views of Congress on different issues but we are also going to make clear that we cannot do things — legislations or conditions — at this point that will break the deal”, Mr Boucher said emphatically.

“We have ongoing discussions with a lot of countries. We just don’t do it in non-proliferation circles. We do it in policy circles, people who appreciate the strategic interests for developing better relationship with India and helping India develop at the same time”, Mr Boucher said.

“We have a dialogue going with Canada”, the senior official said, adding that “like many others they (Canada) have some questions.” — PTI 



India hands over draft plan to US

London, May 26
India and the US have exchanged the drafts of the agreements that will enable the two countries to implement the bilateral civilian nuclear energy deal, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said.

Addressing a press conference at India House yesterday after meeting US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, Mr Saran said he had handed over the counterdraft to the American official. — UNI 

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